Longing for Lasts

Hello, everyone. It’s been a while since my last blog post. Since I last posted, I have turned 50, which is good, I guess. Not sure many people are happy about turning fifty except those that never had that chance. For that reason, I am happy to have reached the 50 mark.

I have five classes left to finish off before I can finish my college degree that I started almost 30 years ago. These last five will not be easy. Being impatient like I am, I chose to cram those last five classes into two summer sessions that will conclude in August. I keep my fingers crossed for continued scholastic success.

As I have gotten older, I still strive for first, but really, really long for lasts. I have reminisced about old times more and more. I often have told my wife how nice it would be if you knew at the time that you would be doing something for the last time.  When I think of those types of things, my mind wanders.

Here are just some of the lasts I miss:

  • The last time I went fishing with my grandpa, who has been gone 18 years already
  • The last time I went fishing with my Dad, who now lives far away
  • The last time I weighed under 200 pounds
  • The last time to hear any new music from Michael Jackson, Queen, Nirvana, the Beatles, or Prince
  • The last time I strapped on a football helmet
  • The last time I rode a school bus to school
  • The last time I had hair to feather
  • The last time riding home in a victorious team bus from an away football game
  • The last time my Mom took me to the orthodontist, accompanied by lunch soon afterward
  • The last time I read my daughter a bedtime story
  • The last time I petted any of the numerous dogs in my life
  • The last day of being a teenager
  • The last day before becoming an adult
  • The last time sitting around a dinner table with my Mom, Dad, and siblings

This list could go on and on. Funny. The other day, I stumbled upon a song by Brad Paisley entitled, “Last Time for Everything”. I must say I am not a huge fan of the video, but love the song. Take a listen and let me know what you think.

Society’s Black Eye?

I know it’s a bit contradictory to be complaining about technology via a blog on the internet, but I can’t help but think the pre-internet and pre-cellphone eras were so much better. Yes, the internet and cell phones have given us so much convenience, but also some drawbacks as well.

I will now put on my “old man” hat. Back when I was a kid, you had to pick up a phone to actually call someone. No texting. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Snapchat. If you wanted to ask a girl out, you called her house, not just her phone, and hoped like hell that her Dad didn’t answer. If he did, you usually hung up, waited a half hour, and then called back again hoping for a different result.

Three Channels

No email. No internet. No social media to mislead the public. I think that is one of my biggest issues with technology these days. I don’t think people can handle it. Yes, some can, but I would argue the majority of us have a hard time trudging through the internet’s mass of news … some real and some not so much. People tend to believe the “news” that confirms what they are thinking. Back in the day, you had three channels with no 24-hour news cycle to peddle whatever agenda their particular channel pushed. Back then, it sucked, but I would give anything to go back to those times.

Much simpler times back then. People actually knew how to hold conversations and interact with each other. These days, it is much easier for people to sit in the basement glued to social media, bashing anyone that disagrees with them. Name-calling is now the norm.

Carbon Paper Blues

Jobs, now, are a hot-button topic. How many jobs have been lost to technology? When I first started in finance back in the late 80s, we had primitive computers. No internet. Green screens. Pretty much worthless except for keeping customer files. When you paid vendors, you pulled out the journal and had to hand write the check. You had to make sure you pressed hard because it had to go through the carbon strip to copy that amount into the journal. So many more things back then were manually done. Yes, things are much easier these days, but also much easier to do with fewer people.

Such is also the case with manufacturing jobs. How many jobs that used to be done by people are now done by robots and other automation? Yes, some jobs have gone overseas to the cheaper labor, but not all jobs are lost due to companies moving out of the country.

Tails Never Fails

I guess I look at technology as a double-edged sword. Flip a coin, I guess, to decide if the advancement of the internet and telephone are good things or bad things. I still lean toward the times I grew up in as being better overall even though we didn’t have 300 channels to watch, movies on our phones, or the ability to pound away on a keyboard to call someone an idiot. If you wanted to call someone an idiot, you had to do that in person, likely coming away with a black eye!



One Direction – New Fab Four?

67732_170443929633222_7912586_nFriday night was a special night. Not so much for me or my wife, but my daughter and thousands of other screaming girls at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Listening to the screams, you would have thought I had stumbled into the latest gory horror flick, but that wasn’t the case. What I had stumbled into was a two-hour, music-filled show featuring the hottest group in the world right now, One Direction.

Who Let In the Old Dude?

 I must admit I felt a bit odd going to this show. Hell, I’m nearing 50, which isn’t the normal demographic of a “Directioner.” My daughter came down for the concert, thus my wife and I thought we would attend the show as well to see what all the hoopla was about. My daughter purchased a floor seat so she could see this dreamy cast of characters up close. Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson did not disappoint her or the other admirers in the audience.

The crowd was so excited that the group debuted it’s new single, “Drag Me Down” for the first time ever on stage this night in the Circle City. It seemed to go over well. It should have, the song, released earlier in the day, reportedly had already gone to number one in 82 countries. It’s not hard to see how this could happen when you see the screaming throngs of girls at these concerts, all with cell phones in hand and ready to Tweet at a moment’s notice.

Beatles Like

1d lynds harry back

Harry plays to the crowd.

Like I said earlier, I am nearing 50, thus was too young to really see the Beatles play. I can only imagine how those lads from Liverpool took the U.S. by storm back in the day. I would have to say, after seeing these young lads play to the filled stadium, it kind of gave me the feeling of what it must have been like to see the Fab Four all those years ago. I know, I know, people my age or a little older have to be wondering what the hell I am smoking. Rest assured, I don’t smoke OR drink, thus this critique is with a clear head.

My daughter is a HUGE fan of the group, well, Liam Payne, mostly, but she likes the other “boys” as well. With that being said, I have been exposed to their music through the years. I must admit that my favorite song the group has put out is, “Steal My Girl.” It just has a catchy rhythm to it and the video, featuring Danny Devito as the director, is pretty entertaining as well. I know, I know, leave my man card at the door. On second thought, give me that damn thing back! I think any man who takes his daughter to see something that she loves so much is what being a man is all about. It may not be something YOU love, but as long as SHE loves it, you’re doing just fine.

I’m OK With That

My daughter will be starting college in a couple of weeks. I think this concert, for her, was kind of a last hurrah for her childhood. Not that she’s suddenly going to stop loving One Direction, but she knows life’s challenges are on the horizon. Liam, Harry, Niall, and Louis have always been there for her as she has grown up, just an ear bud away after a long day at school, work, or after a break up. These guys are kind of like a security blanket for her, I think. They are warm, cuddly, and make her feel good and forget about her problems. I’m OK with that.

Yeah, I’m OK with my daughter being a huge fan of these guys. There is much worse out there for her ears. These guys, at least, put on a good, clean show. No profanity. Instead, the group members really seemed to enjoy each other’s company, oftentimes seemingly forgetting they were performing in front of a stadium crowd. They raced and chased each other on stage, shot each other with silly string or dumped a water bottle over each other’s head. All things that typical boys that age do.

I knew my daughter would be entertained by the concert, but I wasn’t sure how I or my wife would react to being fish out of water. I can say that the show was very entertaining and fun. The group’s exuberance and playfulness, along with some catchy tunes made it a nice night out for us old fogies. Thank you, One Direction, for putting on a great show, but even more, for helping my daughter make it through high school, always having you guys to turn to when she needed you, even if it was from afar.

Oh, and Liam, this is coming from your future Father-in-Law. At least that’s what my daughter keeps telling me!

**All photos courtesy of my daughter.